The FerroPower technology offers a competitive solution for harnessing electricity from the waste heat generated by the large data centers, server farms and supercomputers. These facilities require a huge amount of electric power to be running continuously, while over 90% of their input power is returned as waste heat. FerroPower plans to commercialize a heat engine that uses ferrofluid and porous material in an innovative architecture for increasing the power density by an order of magnitude, as well as improving the heat-to-electricity conversion by 10%. The large power density of this engine enables economical energy harvesting from low temperature heat sources, which is not achievable by the state-of-the-art technologies. The world’s projected data production in 2020 is expected to reach 44 trillion gigabytes, ten times larger than the data produced in 2013. This steep growth demands new data centers and server farms, which are now consuming about 3 percent of the global electric power. The power consumed by data centers is doubling every four years, with expected global electricity consumption of 1000 terawatt hours in 2020.
The core innovation of our technology is the placement of a dense heat exchanging metamaterial within the working chambers of a heat engine, and the use of a Ferrofluid (liquid) packet to manipulate the flow of working gas through the metamaterial. The metamaterial would increase the surface area that the working gas is exposed to by two orders of magnitude, drastically increasing the useful heat transfer rate between the reservoirs and the working gas. The Ferrofluid displacer is stabilized by applying an appropriately oriented magnetic field. This stabilizing force allows the machine to be operated at frequencies an order of magnitude faster than the operation with a non-magnetic fluid. Due to the hermetically sealed design the engine will not suffer any losses due to shaft seals, which are a significant source of losses in state-of-the-art heat generators. This means that the operating pressure of the engine can be increased, which further enhance the power density beyond commercial units.